Archives for posts with tag: novel

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In 2006, Haruki Murakami, author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, accomplished a long-standing goal — translating The Great Gatsby into Japanese. Murakami has discussed his reverence for the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel many times over the years — and has written a compelling afterword to his translation. Read Murakami’s moving love letter to Fitzgerald’s masterwork at scribd.com.

Here are some excerpts from Murakami’s heartfelt homage to The Great Gatsby

When someone asks, ‘Which three books have meant the most to you?’ I can answer without having to think: The Great GatsbyDostoevesky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. All three have been indispensable to me (both as a reader and as a writer); yet if I were forced to select only one, I would unhesitatingly choose Gatsby. Had it not been for Fitzgerald’s novel, I would not be writing the kind of literature I am today (indeed, it is possible that I would not be writing at all, although that is neither here nor there).

Whatever the case, you can sense the level of my infatuation with The Great Gatsby. It taught me so much and encouraged me so greatly in my own life. Through slender in size for a full-length work, it served as a standard and a fixed point, an axis around which I was able to organize the many coordinates that make up the world of the novel. I read Gatsby over and over, poking into every nook and cranny, until I had virtually memorized entire sections.

Remarks such as these are bound to perplex more than a few readers. ‘Look, Murakami,’ they’ll say, ‘I read the novel, and I don’t get it. Just why do you think it’s so great?’ My first impulse is to challenge them right back. ‘Hey, if The Great Gatsby isn’t great,’ I am tempted to say, inching closer, ‘then what the heck is?’…Gatsby is such a finely wrought novel – its scenes so fully realized, its evocations of sentiment so delicate, its language so layered – that, in the end, one has to study it line by line in English to appreciate its true value.”

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On Friday, January 24, 2014, Writers Tribe Books, an independent publisher in Los Angeles, released Two Small Birds, a novel by Dave Newman.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Dan Charles reads Whitman the way some people read the Bible. He works three jobs. He attends college. Dan’s older brother sells industrial parts and wants out. Dan wants something. In Two Small Birds, the brothers take flight in the worst possible way. This is the story of what it means to be family, to be working class, and to dream of being a poet in a world that refuses books. Set in tiny apartments and roadside diners, truckstops and warehouses, dive bars and worse hotels, Two Small Birds is a story of misdemeanors and perseverance, the jobs we take and the lives we lose. It’s the story of love, and whoever is in charge of that.

REVIEW:

There are writers who understand America and there are writers who understand an America most writers don’t write about. This short-money, low-end, no expectations, working class just-skating-by America is the one Dave Newman lays bare in his achingly beautiful, badass and authentic novel, Two Small Birds. Call it Truck Driving America. What Newman has created in this big-hearted, gritty book is a kind of road novel, where the road is one you and everybody you know just want to get the hell off of, before it kills you or works you to death. Readers will hear echoes of Raymond Carver, Daniel Woodrell and Denis Johnson, but in the end Two Small Birds earns Newman a place of his own in the pantheon. Two Small Birds is really a book to love.” JERRY STAHL, author of PERMANENT MIDNIGHT

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dave Newman is the author of the novel Please Don’t Shoot Anyone Tonight and four poetry chapbooks, most recently Allen Ginsberg Comes To Pittsburgh. He’s worked as a truck driver, a book store manager, an air filter salesman, a house painter, and a college teacher. More than 100 of his poems and stories have appeared in magazines throughout the world, including Gulf Stream, Word Riot, Smokelong Quarterly, Wormwood Review, Tears in the Fence (UK), and The New Yinzer. He has been the featured writer and on the cover of both 5AM and Chiron Review. Anthologies include Beside the City of Angels (World Parade Books) and The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (Autumn House Press). In 2004, he received the Andre Dubus Novella Award. He lives in Trafford, Pennsylvania, with his wife, the writer Lori Jakiela, and their two children.

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In 2006, Haruki Murakami – author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle — accomplished a long-standing goal by translating The Great Gatsby into Japanese. Murakami has discussed his reverence for the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel many times over the years — and has written a compelling afterword to his translation. Read Murakami’s moving love letter to Fitzgerald’s masterwork at scribd.com.

Here are some excerpts from Murakami’s heartfelt homage to The Great Gatsby

When someone asks, ‘Which three books have meant the most to you?’ I can answer without having to think: The Great GatsbyDostoevesky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. All three have been indispensable to me (both as a reader and as a writer); yet if I were forced to select only one, I would unhesitatingly choose Gatsby. Had it not been for Fitzgerald’s novel, I would not be writing the kind of literature I am today (indeed, it is possible that I would not be writing at all, although that is neither here nor there).

Whatever the case, you can sense the level of my infatuation with The Great Gatsby. It taught me so much and encouraged me so greatly in my own life. Through slender in size for a full-length work, it served as a standard and a fixed point, an axis around which I was able to organize the many coordinates that make up the world of the novel. I read Gatsby over and over, poking into every nook and cranny, until I had virtually memorized entire sections.

Remarks such as these are bound to perplex more than a few readers. ‘Look, Murakami,’ they’ll say, ‘I read the novel, and I don’t get it. Just why do you think it’s so great?’ My first impulse is to challenge them right back. ‘Hey, if The Great Gatsby isn’t great,’ I am tempted to say, inching closer, ‘then what the heck is?’…Gatsby is such a finely wrought novel – its scenes so fully realized, its evocations of sentiment so delicate, its language so layered – that, in the end, one has to study it line by line in English to appreciate its true value.”

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In 2011, journalist Hari Kunzru interviewed Joan Didion for a British magazine and covered many topics, including  her 1969 Corvette Stingray, made famous in photographs Julian Wasser shot for Life Magazine in 1972. Here are some excerpts. (Find more at this link.)

HK: I read an old interview with you this morning…which said that the 1969 Yellow Corvette Sting Ray Maria drives in Play It As It Lays was actually your car.

JD: It was my car.

HK: …So the Corvette was the car you were driving down the foggy road and trying to work out where the turn for your drive was, and where was just a steep cliff.

JD: Yes.

Photo: “Joan Didion and her 1969 yellow Corvette Stingray” Julian Wasser (1972), ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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“For me, writing a novel is like having a dream. Writing a novel lets me intentionally dream while I’m still awake. I can continue yesterday’s dream today, something you can’t normally do in everyday life.” HARUKI MURAKAMI, author of THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE

Illustration: Portrait of Haruki Murakami by Bradley Wind

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The Silver Birch Press release DEBT, a novel by Rachel Carey is available for free at Amazon.com on Friday, July 26, 2013. You can download the Kindle — which retails for $6.99 — at Amazon.com.

So remain debt-free today (at least when it comes to this novel) and download your Kindle version of DEBT for free!

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GATSBY LE MAGNIFIQUE (Opening lines, in French)

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Quand étais plus jeune, ce qui veut dire plus vulnérable, mon père me donna un conseil que je ne cesse de retourner dans mon esprit.

–Quand tu auras envie de critique quelqu’un, songe que tout le monde n’a pas joui des mêmes avantages que toi.

En Anglais: 

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” 

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I checked out Amazon.fr (Amazon’s French site) and found numerous editions of Gatsby Le Magnifique — and many are among the site’s best-selling titles. Say what you like about Baz Luhrmann‘s film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio, but the movie has  sparked a renewed interest in Fitzgerald’s novel among people around the world — and that is certainly magnifique.

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In 2006, renowned Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami — author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle — accomplished a long-standing goal by translating The Great Gatsby into Japanese. Murakami has discussed his reverence for the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel many times over the years — and has written a compelling afterword to his translation. Read Murakami’s moving love letter to Fitzgerald’s masterwork at scribd.com.

Here are some excerpts from Murakami’s heartfelt homage to The Great Gatsby

When someone asks, ‘Which three books have meant the most to you?’ I can answer without having to think: The Great Gatsby, Dostoevesky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. All three have been indispensable to me (both as a reader and as a writer); yet if I were forced to select only one, I would unhesitatingly choose Gatsby. Had it not been for Fitzgerald’s novel, I would not be writing the kind of literature I am today (indeed, it is possible that I would not be writing at all, although that is neither here nor there).

Whatever the case, you can sense the level of my infatuation with The Great Gatsby. It taught me so much and encouraged me so greatly in my own life. Through slender in size for a full-length work, it served as a standard and a fixed point, an axis around which I was able to organize the many coordinates that make up the world of the novel. I read Gatsby over and over, poking into every nook and cranny, until I had virtually memorized entire sections.

Remarks such as these are bound to perplex more than a few readers. ‘Look, Murakami,’ they’ll say, ‘I read the novel, and I don’t get it. Just why do you think it’s so great?’ My first impulse is to challenge them right back. ‘Hey, if The Great Gatsby isn’t great,’ I am tempted to say, inching closer, ‘then what the heck is?’…Gatsby is such a finely wrought novel – its scenes so fully realized, its evocations of sentiment so delicate, its language so layered – that, in the end, one has to study it line by line in English to appreciate its true value.”

 

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“I don’t have a name and I don’t have a plot. I have the typewriter and I have white paper and I have me, and that should add up to a novel.”

WILLIAM SAROYAN, when asked the name of his next book.

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William Saroyan (1908-1981) was an American writer of Armenian descent who grew up in the Fresno, California, area, where many of his stories (plays, novels, short stories) take place. He is best known for his play The Time of Your Life — winner of the 1940 Pulitizer Prize — and his novel The Human Comedy (1943). Saroyan enjoyed a long and prolific career — and was the author of over 25 books, around 30 plays, and numerous short stories. In 1943, he won an Oscar for Best Story for the film version of his novel The Human Comedy

Getting back to the Saroyan quote at the top of this post…this was one writer who could feel confident when he sat down with a typewriter and white paper that he could come up with a story — he had lots of practice doing just that.

PHOTO: William Saroyan and typewriter, awaiting the arrival of some white paper.

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“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”

DAVE BARRY

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Dave Barry‘s new novel, Insane City — which the publisher has characterized as a “dark comic masterpiece” — will be released on January 29th. Check it out at Amazon.com.